2010/1/14 Brent Meeker <meeke...@dslextreme.com>:

> Yes, I can see that.  By aggregating the brain into one computation do you
> mean replacing it with a synchronous digital computer whose program would
> not only reproduce the I/O of individual neurons, but also the instantaneous
> state on signals which were traveling between them (since presumably timing
> is important to the neurons function)?  Or do you mean replacing it with a
> synchronous digital computer which produces the same I/O at the afferent and
> efferent nerves?  In the former case, it seems that "thoughts" would be
> distributed over many, not necessarily sequential, computational steps.  In
> the later it would not be possible to map the the computational steps to
> brain states at all since they are only required to be the same at the I/O;
> and hence difficult to say what constituted a thought.
> Given these to two possible models of functionalism, I'm not clear on what
> "the same computation" means.  Are these two doing the same computation
> because they have the same I/O?  Over what range of I does the O have to be
> the same - all possible?  all actually experienced?  those experienced in
> the last 2minutes?

I think it would be enough for the AI to reproduce the I/O of the
whole brain in aggregate. That would involve computing a function
controlling each efferent nerve, accepting as data input from the
afferent nerves. The behaviour would have to be the same as the brain
for all possible inputs, otherwise the AI might fail the Turing test.
It's not clear if the modelling would have to be at the molecular,
cellular or some higher level in order to achieve this, but in any
case I expect that there would be many different programs that could
do the job even if the hardware and operating system are kept the
same. It could therefore be a case of multiple computations leading to
the same experience. Pinning down a thought to a location in time and
space would pose no more of a problem for the AI than for the brain.

Stathis Papaioannou
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